Nearing the completion of five years as Dean of Libraries I am excited as ever about the future of UK Libraries. We have been through a very severe economic recession but in many ways I believe that UK Libraries has emerged from the challenges stronger than ever before.
With the help of the UK administration the cuts to collections have not been as deep as they might have been. Without a major reorganization we have been able to reassess our faculty and staff needs and make adjustments that have supported our strategic goals and provided career paths for our employees. We have improved the focus and outcomes of our library instruction, created the highly successful UKnowledge, more fully incorporated the highly regarded University Press of Kentucky, completed a major renovation of William T. Young Library’s second floor and several branch locations, initiated creative approaches to providing undergraduates access to unique collections, and built upon the international recognition of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the Special Collections Research Center.
Our international focus has expanded dramatically; this week two UK librarians and the Press director are in China and one librarian is in Australia. Another librarian just returned from China. Other faculty have attended conferences and presented in several countries during the past year. Closer to home, our faculty are busy this summer exploring how UK Libraries might enhance learning and student success in UK’s nearly 20 Living Learning Communities and offer first-year students a fun, yet informative, exposure to UK Libraries during K-Week. Thanks to our marketing and development efforts our private fundraising is showing very positive trends that is preparing us for the university’s upcoming capital campaign.
There has never been a more exciting time to be at the University of Kentucky and be part of President Eli Capilouto’s and Provost Tim Tracy’s push for a re-imagined University of Kentucky as a land-grant, highly residential, research intensive, public university. I look forward to the next five years as we build upon these initiatives and accomplishments and work together to fulfill the promise and expectations of our new strategic goals.
Dean of Libraries and
William T. Young Endowed Chair